Mergui-Tavoy Interview: Saw E---, July 2012


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Mergui-Tavoy Interview: Saw E---, July 2012

Published date:
Friday, March 1, 2013

This report contains the full transcript of an interview submitted to KHRG during July 2012, which was conducted in Mergui-Tavoy District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed 45-year-old G--- villager, Saw E---, who described the destruction of agricultural land, including betel nut and coconut plantations in G--- village resulting from construction of a vehicle road by the Italian-Thai Development Company (ITD). Saw E--- raises concerns regarding the lack of compensation for damaged agricultural land and crops. He also raises his concerns that relocation will be necessary, as the road will continue to be built and is set to cross his land. Further, Saw E--- describes villagers' strategies in response, including requesting ITD to provide compensation for the value of crops lost in road construction, this compensation was promised by the company, but is yet to be received. This report, and others, will be published in March 2013 as part of KHRG's thematic report: Losing Ground: Land conflicts and collective action in eastern Myanmar.


[1]  KHRG trains community members in eastern Burma to document individual human rights abuses using a standardised reporting format; conduct interviews with other villagers; and write general updates on the situation in areas with which they are familiar. When conducting interviews, community members are trained to use loose question guidelines, but also to encourage interviewees to speak freely about recent events, raise issues that they consider to be important and share their opinions or perspectives on abuse and other local dynamics.

[2] In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in eastern Burma, KHRG aims to make all field information received available on the KHRG website once it has been processed and translated, subject only to security considerations. As companion to this, a redesigned website will be released in 2013. In the meantime, KHRG's most recently-published field information from Mergui-Tavoy District can be found in the report, "Complaint letter to Burma government about value of agricultural land destroyed by Tavoy highway," KHRG, July 2012.

[3] In Burmese, "betelnut" and "betel leaf" are referred to as "konywet" and "konthih," as if they are from the same plant. The Burmese names are also commonly used by Karen language speakers. "Betel nut" is the seed from an Areca Palm tree, areca catechu; "Betel leaf" is the leaf of the Piper betel vine, belonging to the piperaceae family.